Yellowknife Centre Newsletter
Fighting the COVID Outbreak
Continuing community spread of COVID 19 has prompted a number of actions in response to the escalating number of cases. Key issues include:

  • The Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) has declared a “circuit breaker” of stepped-up measures to reduce community spread. Now, people may have no outside visitors to their homes, with some exceptions you can see on the GNWT Gathering Restrictions webpage. These restrictions remain in place until 11:59 pm Oct. 11. Those GNWT employees able to work at home are being directed to work remotely, and the CPHO is asking others to work at home where possible.

  • As of November 30th the GNWT will require employees who interact with vulnerable members of the public to be fully vaccinated. The objective is to ensure a safe working environment for employees and the public. The policy applies to those in the healthcare, education and corrections sectors, and employees travelling to remote communities on duty travel. Accommodations will be considered on a case-by-case basis. To get the shot, complete the COVID Vaccine Request form, or call 767-9107 Ext 40151 to book an appointment. 

  • Businesses impacted by recent public health measures can now apply to GNWT’s Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) program for assistance. Up to $5,000 is available to businesses impacted by gathering limitations. This short-term funding will help to cover ongoing operational costs such as rent and utilities since the outbreak in early August. $750,000 is available until March 31, 2022, or as long as the public health measures last. Meanwhile, the Business Development and Investment Corporation’s Project Fund is offering up to $2,500 in “aftercare relief” to help some businesses affected by Covid-19 public health measures. 

  • On October 4, City Council voted against a motion to grant a permit to establish a temporary day shelter at the former Legion building. Mayor Alty and Councillors Morse and Morgan supported the motion. This result leaves the homeless population without adequate space to shelter from the elements, obtain food and services and use washroom and show facilities. With snow in the forecast, the Department of Health and Social Services is considering steps that can be implemented right away to fill this gap in service. Meanwhile, the day shelter and sobering centre located on 50 Street and operated by the NWT Disabilities Council reopened on October 4 with capacity for 20 clients. The shelter hours are 7 am to 7 pm. The sobering centre hours are 3 pm to 7 am. The temporary shelter at the Yellowknife Arena is now closed.
Fall Legislative Assembly Session
The fall sitting of the Legislative Assembly runs from October 14 to November 4. Members will review the capital budget, which is presented early so that contracts can be let before the coming of the new fiscal year. 

On Wednesday October 13 at 7 PM, I’ll hold a constituency meeting by Zoom. Go to www.zoom.us to join the meeting, and use Meeting ID 742 535 4704 with Passcode 2GF6Yq
With construction underway on the replacement for Sissons School, the search is on for a name for the new facility. YK School District #1 is inviting people to submit suggestions that reflect the values of students, staff, parents and the community. See the link about how to have your idea considered.
Call for Arts Council Grants 
Proposals are now being accepted for NWT Art Council funding for artists and organizations producing artistic works, projects, or events. In recognition of COVID-19, this includes proposals for online presentations or showcases. October 31, 2021 is the deadline for proposals for up to $15,000 in funds. 
There’s a lot of activity going on at the site of the new Avens Pavilion seniors housing complex. Trenching is being completed to connect the new facilities to municipal services and extensive blasting is preparing the site for laying of foundations. The new 102-unit facility is expected to be completed by fall 2023. 
Understanding FASD
The Department of Health and Social Services has developed two public awareness videos on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) to bring attention to the importance of diagnosis, and how the public can help support individuals living with FASD.
 
FASD is a term used to describe the impacts on the brain and body of an individual who was exposed to alcohol before birth. FASD is a lifelong, brain-based disability. It presents differently in each person, due to the wide variation of alcohol effects on brain development.
 
The videos can be viewed on the Department of Health and Social Services website.
The new Jumpstart Inclusive Playground is open in the Somba K’e Park public area at the start of the Pat McMahon Frame Lake Trail. The park was financed by a $100,000 donation from Canadian Tire owners Jason and Karen Butorac. The playground is designed to provide accessible recreation for persons with disabilities